How to Build a Takeout Menu Holder


Takeout and delivery services have become increasingly popular in recent years. With more people ordering food to-go, restaurants need an effective way to present their menus and make them easily accessible for customers. A takeout menu holder is an excellent solution for highlighting your offerings, providing convenience for patrons, and showcasing your brand.

Building your own takeout menu holder is a simple and budget-friendly DIY project. With some basic materials and tools, you can create a customized holder that fits your restaurant’s needs. This article will provide step-by-step instructions on how to build a takeout menu holder from start to finish. We’ll cover planning considerations, materials and tools required, construction steps, and finishing touches to complete your holder. Follow along to create an attractive and functional takeout menu holder that will serve your restaurant well.

Planning Your Takeout Menu Holder

Before starting construction, take some time to think through your needs and plan the design. Here are some key considerations:


Determine where you want to place the menu holder. Popular options are near the entrance, host stand, takeout counter, or drive-thru window. Select a high-visibility spot where customers can easily access the menus.


Consider the dimensions of your menus and how many you need to display. The holder should be large enough to neatly present menus without appearing cluttered. Standard letter-size and legal-size menus generally work well in a holder approximately 26-28 inches wide.


Choose materials that match your restaurant’s aesthetics. Simple wooden holders complement casual eateries, while metal or acrylic might suit more modern spaces. Durability is also important for high-traffic areas.


Decide if you want your logo or branding displayed on the holder. Vinyl signs, laser cutting, or paint can add custom graphics. Make sure to adhere to your existing brand guidelines.

Weather protection

If placing your holder outdoors, be sure to select weatherproof materials or add features like an overhang to protect menus from rain and snow.


Basic DIY holders can be created for less than $50 in materials. However, more complex or custom designs will increase costs. Set a reasonable budget before purchasing supplies.

Materials and Tools Needed

Building a takeout menu holder is a straightforward woodworking project. You likely already have many of the required tools and can purchase the remaining materials at your local hardware store for less than $50.


  • 1/4″ plywood or MDF – Enough for two side panels and a back panel. Standard letter-size requires roughly 30″ x 26″.
  • Wood boards – For front lip, base, and roof overhang if desired. Pine 1x2s work well.
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper – 80 and 120 grit
  • Stain, paint, or sealant (optional)
  • Metal brackets or trim (optional)


  • Circular saw or jigsaw
  • Miter saw (optional)
  • Drill
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Clamps
  • Carpenter’s square
  • Safety glasses and gloves

Step-by-Step Construction

With your materials and tools gathered, you’re ready to start constructing the takeout menu holder. Follow these step-by-step instructions for assembling a basic holder:

Cut the Side Panels

  1. Measure and mark the dimensions on a full plywood or MDF sheet. Cut out two identical side panels using a circular saw or jigsaw. Standard dimensions around 26”x 30” work well.
  2. Using a miter saw or circular saw, cut a 15-30 degree angle at the top corners of the panels to create an angled roof shape.

Cut the Back Panel

  1. Cut a plywood back panel to the same width as the side panels. Height should be about 1” shorter than side panels.
  2. Cut a 15-30 degree angle at the top to match the roof angle of the sides.

Assemble the Sides and Back

  1. Apply wood glue to the edges of the back panel. Clamp the back between the angled edges of the side panels.
  2. Attach at least two corner brackets on the inside to reinforce the glue joints.
  3. Check for square using a carpenter’s square and adjust until the corners are 90 degrees.

Add the Base

  1. Cut (2) pine 1×2 boards to match the front width of the assembled holder.
  2. Glue and clamp these at the bottom front to create a base lip.

Create the Roof Overhang

  1. Cut pine 1×2 boards to match the outer roof width.
  2. Glue and clamp these to the angled top to create a decorative overhang.
  3. Use longer 1×2 boards in the front and back if desired.

Sand and Finish the Wood

  1. Sand all wood surfaces smoothly with 120 grit sandpaper.
  2. Apply stain, paint, or sealant finishes.
  3. Allow proper drying time according to product instructions.

Add Branding or Graphics

  • Use vinyl signs or custom routed/lasered designs to display logo or branding.
  • Paint or stain designs by hand for a custom look.

Your basic takeout menu holder construction is now complete! Continue reading for some additional options and accessories to enhance your holder.

Customizing Your Takeout Menu Holder

You can make your DIY takeout menu holder unique with some simple upgrades and custom touches. Here are a few ideas to try:

Fun Shapes

Get creative with the side panel shapes by cutting curves, points, or angles instead of straight edges. Just maintain the proper base and roof widths.


Attach two holders back-to-back to create a double-sided stand with increased menu capacity.

Acrylic Holders

Use clear acrylic panels instead of wood to create a more modern look. Attach wood or acrylic edges with glue or clear braces.

Sign Frames

Use trim pieces to create a frame around the exterior edges or roof overhang. Display menus inside the frames.


Install battery-powered LED strip lights along the roof or edges for better visibility at night.


Add small wooden shelves along the bottom or sides to hold promotional flyers and coupons.

Metal Accents

Incorporate metal components like brackets, legs, or trim for an industrial vibe.

With some creative thinking and additional DIY skills, you can build a truly one-of-a-kind takeout menu holder to show off your restaurant’s personality. The possibilities are endless!

Helpful Tips for Using Your Takeout Menu Holder

Follow these tips to get the most function and longevity from your custom menu holder:

  • Place in a protected area away from direct rain or snow. Overhangs help for outdoor holders.
  • Consider attaching the holder to the wall or ground withheavy-duty brackets for added stability.
  • Print menus on cardstock or laminate paper menus for durability with frequent handling.
  • Display any daily specials or promotional flyers in the holder too.
  • Refresh menus as they get worn or damaged. Keep extras on hand.
  • For outdoor holders, bring menus inside at night to prevent theft or damage.
  • Lighting illuminates the holder for easy nighttime visibility
  • Keep menus neatly organized in the holder rather than overstuffing.
  • Clean smudges or debris with glass cleaner and a soft cloth as needed.

Following these tips will help keep your DIY takeout menu holder looking great and functioning smoothly for years of use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about building and using DIY takeout menu holders:

What size should I make the holder?

The size depends on your menu dimensions and capacity needs. Most letter-size and legal-size menus work well in holders around 26-28 inches wide. Make sure to measure your actual menus.

What materials should I use?

Plywood, MDF, acrylic, and wood boards make good materials. Choose durable options that can withstand weather if placing the holder outdoors.

How do I cut the angled roof pieces?

Use a miter saw set to the desired roof angle (15-30 degrees usually). You can also make angled cuts with a circular saw.

What’s the best way to apply branding or graphics?

Vinyl signs, laser cutting/engraving, router templates, and hand painting are all great options for customizing the holder.

How can I ensure the holder is sturdy?

Reinforce joints with corner brackets or L-brackets on the inside. Glue and clamp all connections tightly. Attach the holder to a wall or ground for added stability.

How do I protect paper menus in outdoor holders?

Laminate paper menus or use plastic sleeve covers. Place the holder under a covered entryway if possible. Bring menus indoors at night.

Should I seal or finish the wood?

It’s recommended to apply stain, paint, or waterproof sealant for appearance and to protect the holder from weathering.


Creating your own takeout menu holder is an easy and affordable DIY project for any restaurant. With some simple planning, purchased materials, and beginner woodworking skills, you can build an attractive holder tailored specifically for displaying your menus.

The construction involves cutting side, back, and base panels to size, reinforcing the joints, and adding finishing touches like branding graphics or roof overhangs. The end result is a custom holder that conveniently showcases your menus for both indoor and outdoor use. Place it in a high-visibility location so patrons can easily access your offerings.

With the takeout menu holder complete, your restaurant will benefit from showcasing your brand, providing top-notch customer convenience, and efficiently directing orders. Your customers will appreciate the clear organization and accessibility. Investing in this simple DIY menu holder is sure to pay dividends for your restaurant’s success.